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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hostage Transfer

So the date of my transition from job to job is July 13th. Technically that will be my last day here at the call center, however I will be on vacation teh week prior. My boss referred to this yesterday as the "hostage transfer". So, I figured it was a good title. There are many things I want to reflect on and talk about now that I am leaving my job. But today is simply a list or two....note these lists are constantly being added to.

Top things callers do that drive me crazy:
1. Going to the bathroom on the phone with a professional
2. Calling and asking for a phone number but not being prepared to write the number down.
3. Dialing the number into your ear instead of writing it down.
4. Callers yelling at me when I give them an answer they don't want to hear or telling me its my fault that there are no resources.
5. Callers expect me to perform miracles
6. Callers having conversations with other individuals while talking to me.
7. Professionals calling to make referrals when they DON'T have all the information (they know what they need).
8. Professionals who call because they are too lazy to do their own job.
9. Callers always assume that I was the person talking with them last time they called.
10. Callers eating or chewing gum while on the phone.

Top things I will miss about my office:
1. My office is bipolar...for instance it is June and 90 degrees outside and I am wrapped in a blanket
2. My coworkers speak Spanglish
3. stress balls are often used as weapons or ways of making a point.
4. "intercom" means yelling across the call center
5. "scented" coffee means it is flavored.
6. Everyone has a phrase they say: That's a Wrap, I'm gonna blow this popsickle stand, O M G, Ridonkulous...
7. Everyone has a nickname: LT/fish, Mervaration, Chip, CC, Hamster, Radar....
8. There is a concept of a "filter" in our office...its off on weekends...sometimes it comes off other times of the week.
9. The Chinese place we order from doesn't need to ask us our address...they just know its us.
10. RCMCT answering the phone "Tony's Pizza".
11. My supervisor walks around with her headset in one ear and her bluetooth in the other...we never know who she is talking to.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gratitude is an attitude

Choosing gratitude is something that has been very prevalent on my mind and heart. It isn't easy, in fact it is a discipline. I have learned to choose gratitude when I can't stand on my own two feet. I have learned to choose gratitude when I feel lost in the worries of this world. I have learned to choose gratitude when I am losing those I love or those I love have hurt me. I have learned to choose gratitude when everything is falling apart. But there is still a first for everything in our individual lives. So here is the most recent story of where I have had to choose gratitude....

I work in a very stressful job...in fact the high of an adrenaline rush is almost a prerequisite for my position. I am sad to say that I call 911 or some variation of such on a daily basis. So sometimes it is so stressful we need to just do something different, something to relieve the adrenaline rush and bring us back to reality.  Thursday when I was about to leave work I had hit that place. After three straight days of constant crisis and chaos with little break and even less down time to test software I had come to a place of needing some time. Time to think. Time to pray. Time to build my discipline of gratitude. And yes, time to thoroughly enjoy the beautiful sunshine. I left work...on time! and started walking. My original plan was to walk home but I realized that I didn't have the time or the physical strength to do so. So I decided  to instead walk to E Main and Alexander to take the bus from there. But that never happened. I exited work via the back door and began my journey down Alexander St. While crossing the bridge there were three gentleman on the bridge. Two on bikes. I didn't think much about it. Two blocks later they passed me on their bikes in front of Monroe High school. Once again I didn't think anything of it. I lost sight of them. Then somewhere around dunkin donuts they passed me going the same direction. I thought this was weird. Instinct told me to keep my phone in my hand so I could call for help if I needed to. The pulled left into a parking lot and as I entered that area they swung out of the parking lot, still on their bikes, and blocked the way so that I could not continue walking. They asked me where something was I told them I didn't know. When they said it was up on East Ave I pointed toward East Ave and tried to leave. They asked if they could use my phone. I said no. They asked several times and I continued to say no, tell them I had to leave and walked away. Still with my guard up I kept my phone in my hand for easy access to 911. I began walking and next thing I knew they sped past me on their bikes and yanked the phone out of my hand. I screamed and a girl across the street heard me. She was crossing the street to let me use her phone and another car stopped asked what was wrong, swung around and tried to chase the bikes. As for the girl, her name is Robin and she was so generous. She allowed me to call 911, a dear friend and my work.  She stayed with me until the cops got to the scene. Shortly after she left my supervisor arrived to stay with me and comfort me. She made sure I was physically ok. She was able to go into logical crisis mode and walked me through shutting my phone down through Verizon. The whole story had to be told several times through out this time to the officers. Then a roommate showed up to be with me as well. She was able to stay calm, contact my family and help us through the process. At this point the tears had stopped flowing and I was able to do all I needed to do.I was  just grateful they oly touched my hand and didn't physically hurt me. My roommate called my mom to get phone information for 911. 
One of the most difficult things for me was when I was placed in the back of an investigator's car so that a suspect could walk by for me to identify. I wasn't able to say for certain if it was him...
I didn't get home until 6:30 and was doing ok until I tried to go to bed. Alone in my bed, with the lights off and everything quiet all of my fears and anxieties weight upon me. So my roommates made a plan to have me watch a movie and for a roommate to stay with me until I fell asleep. 
For me when I got up this morning I knew I needed to go into the office and work. I needed to be focused. And I choose to find gratitudes in all I did. I can't share them all due to personal boundaries...but I would like to share some.
~I am grateful that I am alive and not physically hurt in any way
~I am grateful for Robin who let me use her cell phone to call for help and stayed with me til the police arrived
~I am grateful for the supervisor who answered the phone, my supervisor who stayed with me and my roommate who responded and helped me in my time of need
~I am grateful for the opportunity for the roommate I love so dearly and has had a profound impact on my life to meet the supervisor who has changed my life in my job.
~I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with friends so that I was not alone.
~I am grateful for the love and support of three of my roommates when the fears and insecurities, the effects of the situation hit me hard. It was when the lights turned off, the room was quiet and I was alone that I needed them most...and they were there.
~I am grateful for the love and support of all my coworkers who stood beside me and made sure I was ok today. I couldn't have done it without them.


So when you feel like it is coming to an end...remember. Gratitude is an attitude and you have the opportunity to choose it in all you do.